Friday, 21 August 2009

My Booky Wook

Before reading Russell Brand's uniquly written autobiography, I was not a fan of his. However, I am now besotted with him. He is both hilarious and uttetly intelligent. His book is a fast paced comic look at his life and of course his heroin addiction. Usually I don't particularly like these books that tell you all about how difficult it is coming off smack and how shooting up is a way to forget about their dads leaving and their mums hitting them. But Brand's writing is rather self depricating but without the sympathy aspect of your normal 'I was addicted to drugs' story. He looks at his absolutly hilarious antics whilst high; like the time he had his homeless mate come and live with him and film it. He talks about a play him and his friend wanted to write when they had been up on acid, about a book neither of them had read. They found a space to hold auditions and rehearse and publicised the performance. The night before it was due to premiere they had an acid trip and decided to cancel the whole thing. You cannot deny being on drugs in the way Brand was does not sound hilarious and this is why Brand is excellent. He does not pretend that it wasn't fun. Essentially Brand is a philospher and this really comes across in his writing.

Definently recommend this book. Although don't read in public spaces as you will have people looking at you oddly because of the fact you cannot stop laughing.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

NIE Blog

I just wanted to say that the NIE blogs make me laugh a lot especially the recent one about being locked in a flat.

Monday, 17 August 2009

First day at The Space

I started working with The Space Theatre Company this week. The Space is a theatre company based in the Isle of Dogs, committed to improving access to the arts; and if you read my dissertation you know already that this is an issue I am interested in. The space offers the community the ability to get invovled with the theatre for free. You can take part in workshops whether you are 5 years old or 50, or like me you can volunteer. As a volunteer it is easy to get stuck with all the odd jobs but The Space has helped to tailor the experience to cater my needs and their needs.

I am assisting with their summer school for young people. This week they children are given the skills to produce and perform a show, there is set design, lighting design, sound design and script writing to choose from. I have been assisting with the script writing workshops led by Peter Easterly. So far I have learnt a lot about giving a workshop which is more theory based and this has been extrememly interesting and helpful. The theme that we have been looking at is money which of course is a very tentative issue at the moment that affects both adults and children alike.

Next week we will begin to devise a show based on the story of Treasure Island. I am very excited to see what ideas the children have and to see what the end will look like.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

My First Edinburgh Festival

On Thursday myself and Chloe travelled up on the Megabus to Edinburgh. When we arrived we were pleased to see the sun shining and we were looking forward to spending a few days enjoying the sun and shows. Oh how we were wrong! By Friday it began to rain and it did not stop until Saturday afternoon. However, this did mean lots of coffee drinking and huddeling under umbrellas. We saw St Mary's own Destination GB on Friday. I have only seen it once before and it has developed well. The show itself is mostly improvised and this I like about it. Although at times it was clear the actors got a little lost in the action and had to quickly get back to the main storyline. I did enjoy watching the show and the audience loved it, however as(although I am generalising) with much of Kasia's work I felt the message was far too drummed into me. I understood what they were trying to acheive quite early on and I think they could employ some more subtle techniques to acheive their message.

After Destination GB it was time for Metamorphosis, a play based on the story by Franz Kaftka. I thouroughly enjoyed this performance by Cambridge University. It was a very stylisied piece of work and the choreography was spot on. The atmosphere they created as an ensemble was chilling. I liked that they used the family of Gregor to tell the story rather than basing it all around Gregor himself. Halfway through the performance the make up on the actors began to dramatically deteriorate, I am not sure if this was deliberate but it worked extremely well. It showed the deterioration of Gregor's humanity and I loved this. In fact there was not much wrong with this show, although my only niggle is that they started to take down the set as soon as the show was over and having a good old chat with their families and friends. This is a pet hate for me!

On Saturday Chloe and I had theatre for breakfast, which consisted of weak coffee and a stale crossisant and some very bad comedy! I am not sure if I want to waste anymore time talking about this performance apart from to say if you like cheap humour with no sub-text this is the show for you. The Bite-sized Breakfast on at the Bedlam Theatre.

My last show in Edinburgh was Ritter, Denne, Voss. It is a play about the famous 20th century philospher Ludwig Wittgenstein. It was a very eerie performance with some good dark humour but at times it was hard to keep up with the story. I wish I had read the programme before watching the show because I would have understood it more. Ludwig has returned to his family home where his two sister's live, from a mental institution. For me I felt the play was exploring the inside of his mind and this was reflected in the set design. I think I need a bit more time to consider my opinion on this performance but I would recommend it.

Overall I had a wonderful time at the festival. I met some great people and loved having a massive dose of theatre after a few months of not seeing any theatre. Tomorrow I start working for The Space Theatre Company in the Isle of Dogs which is in south-east London!